REVIEW: Deep Purple – Long Beach 1971 (2015)

DEEP PURPLE – Long Beach 1971 (2015 Edel)

This CD is over 70 minutes long.  It has four tracks.  The shortest one is 11:05.  The longest is 27:18.  We just needed to be upfront with you, about what you are about to read, in case you felt like turning back now.  This would be the time to do so.

Still with us?  Great!

This live album was recorded during a period in Deep Purple where their setlist was in a state of flux.  Their first heavy rock album and first serious bonafide smash hit, Deep Purple In Rock, was still dominating the set.  The mid-term single, “Strange King of Woman”, had been included on the new album Fireball in the US, but it’s the only new song here.  Even though the show was well recorded for radio, this set has never been released before officially.

A energetically ragged “Speed King” opens affairs.  “A Speed King is somebody who moves very quickly from one place to another, and always gets there first,” says Ian Gillan during the long middle solo section.  When it’s Blackmore’s turn to play, he’s smooth with just enough rough edges.  Everybody shines; live in 1971, Deep Purple were a well-oiled machine running on the fuel of pure creativity.  Ian and the others liked to have a drink now and then, but they were never a drug band until other members joined and brought their troubles with them.  When a band as talented and unfettered and uninhibited by chemicals hit the stage, this is what can happen.  “Speed King” is a mind-breakingly enjoyable version, both in spite of and because of its length!

The new single goes down a storm, and Blackmore’s solo is inspired.  Then “Child in Time”, the old standby since late ’69, begins delicately with Ian in prime voice.  Deep Purple at full power doing “Child in Time” complete with screams?  Jazzy shuffle right in the middle?  Always nice to have.  The last half-hour of the set is dedicated to “Mandrake Root”, an unremarkable song from the first LP that operated in concert as the forum for their “big” jam, the one that descends into madness and chaos by the end.  Brilliant stuff, but a bit much for those who just wanna rock.

If four songs loaded with solos are not your cup of java, that’s fine.  There are plenty more Deep Purple live albums to be had.  In the 80’s, the soloing was de-emphasized in favour of playing more songs.  Those albums, featuring the exact same lineup, may be more your speed if this doesn’t sound like your kinda deal.

3.5/5 stars


    1. Then avoid this one! I’m finishing up a review right this moment of another one – Copenhagen 1972. This is more your speed. Yes there is still a 20 minute version of Space Truckin’, but also more songs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I will forever be completely blown away by Gillian’s vocals on “A Child in Time.” I had the pleasure of hearing him sing it live. There is nothing wrong with long jams or short to the point songs. It’s how they’re done that counts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great Read dude! Ha love the opening of your story turn back! Be warned! I think for myself being there and watching them jam Live but listening to it on cd is another ball of wax. I could make It through one listening but ….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, that’s really something. Talk about long bombers! I dunno where I stand on that. Sometimes I’d think it was self-indulgent bloat, and other times (probably late at night) I’d think it was the best drift-away thing ever. But whichever it would be, it’s still all about the rawk. And for that I say Right On!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The thing is, there is soooo much live Purple out there, with and without jams. So you can pick and choose your listening experience. And you can count on me to deliver the goods when you need to know what to get! In fact I have an extra one of these I ended up with. So you know what happens. Not this show but another one. AAAA.


  4. I like jams, and I like playing more songs. I just don’t like when jam fail and go out of synch and sound bad. Its a fine balance. Purple are usually pretty good at it though. (Still… my favourite DP live album is Nobody’s Perfect, so…sacrilege, I know.)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This definitely sounds like the kind of album that would be good to have in the collection when you’re in the mood for zoning into jams. For the record, I like jams. Especially space jams. Though not the kind with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan.

    Liked by 3 people

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